Many aspects of this illness are vague and the boundaries between self and illness are less-than-clear-cut. This leaves a lot of room for interpretation. For example, hallucinations and delusions are fairly straight-forward, whereas lack of motivation and social withdrawal are vague and open to judgment and interpretation.
This realization made me question how much of my illness is inborn and how much is externally-influenced.
To provide an example, previously, all my hallucinations and delusions revolved around the government. It wasn’t until I started reading other schizophrenics’ experiences of religious delusions that the content of my own delusions began to mimic these religious delusions.
I am schizophrenic —> schizophrenics have religious delusions —> I have religious delusions
I have been suffering from psychosis for about 4 years. I was diagnosed a few months ago. During those 4 years, I would never have characterized myself as lacking in motivation. It was only until I was diagnosed and it had been suggested to me that as a symptom I may lack motivation that I started finding myself lethargic and unmotivated.
I am schizophrenic —> schizophrenics lack motivation —> I lack motivation
A minority of schizophrenics experience tactile hallucinations, but in shedding light on this rare occurrence, suggesting it as a symptom, it starts becoming more and more common.
I would suggest we have more power over ourselves and this illness than we give ourselves credit for. If these “negative suggestions” can manifest themselves in symptoms, it’s probable “positive suggestions” can likewise manifest themselves in positive life changes.
For this reason I think it’s important that doctors and sufferers don’t downplay the possibilities of recovery. By suggesting that recovery is impossible, rare, unlikely, we lose any chance of making positive, life-changing suggestions.